Futurism Goes for the Gold in Beijing Games

You know how in science fiction films everyone’s always living in giant domes? Spare us your SyFy fantasizing, because the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics has us covered.

Make no mistake: We mean covered, like “in a bubble.”

Of the many interesting things about 2022 Winter Olympic Games now underway in China’s capital, we love the Olympic Bubble.

ABC News reported that “The ‘Olympic closed loop’ is a collection of bubbles. All fenced in with physical barriers keeping all of us separate from the rest of China. It’s likely the most ambitious bubble system ever created, and it’s a feat to witness up close. One of the bubbles is more than one hundred miles from Beijing up in the mountain zone.”

So, there are COVID-proof bubbles to hang around in. That’s new. Next stop — March.

To be precise, it’s not a series of giant plastic bubbles. Just chicken wire, fencing and buildings. But if the whole media world can go on and on about “the bubble” then so can we.

Once inside the sealed Olympic complex (read some descriptions of the nasal swabs and other precautions just for fun), how does one eat between events?

In a word, robots.

“Robots hang from the ceiling in the press cafeteria, serving select cuisines individually, while other robots are actually cooking and preparing meals,” NBC Chicago explains. “Giant arm-like structures deliver bowls of noodles from ceiling to table … a little different from farm to table. People then grab their meals from the robots and dine wherever they please.”

Providing one stays inside “the bubble,” one can have as many steaming bowls of roof noodles as one wishes. We imagine attendees staring up at those robot arms the way we stand in front of the open refrigerator, awaiting food inspiration to strike — dropping from on high in this case.

Our favorite piece of Olympic automation? The cocktail-mixing robot. Check out this video.

Unless you’re on a luge sledding drinks — and perhaps even then — improve any Olympic activity.

If the gravity-defying grub doesn’t grab you, there’s more innovation to the 2022 games.

Let’s talk payments. As you may know, China picked up this moment in the international limelight to spotlight its own CBDC, the digital yuan. It’s kind of a big deal, at least inside China.

Beijing wants brands like “big Western companies such as McDonald’s (MCD) and Nike (NKE) — to allow customers to use the digital yuan during the games,” CNN reported, adding that “The digital version of the currency is one of only three payment choices foreign athletes and others have at sporting venues and the Olympic Village, aside from cash and Visa payments.”

Cash? Seriously? Are coins and bills in tiny bubbles? This may not have been thought through.

Not to be left out, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are squeezing into the Beijing Olympics. Clothing label Ben Sherman partnered with Tokns Commerce and Humanz to create a metaverse clothing line for Humanz, “characters created by world-class industrial illustrators from Day 8 Labs and Pilot Studios.”

According to a press release, “This delegation of 250 unique Humanz will wear artist interpretations of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games Opening and Closing Ceremony look worn by the Team GB at the Beijing Games. While the physical items retail as a limited-edition Ben Sherman x Team GB collection available to purchase online from Ben Sherman and Team GB websites, the NFT collection will be exclusively available at TeamgbNFT.com.”

So, do you root for the team or the digital character? We’ll root for both, eating ceiling noodles and trying to confuse the cocktail robot with drink orders like the “Sabretooth Sling.”

We have absolutely no idea what that is. Neither will the robot. Oh, what fun we’ll have.

Check out the live feed and watch for robots impersonating athletes.

We haven’t heard about this happening — yet — but all it takes is one AI getting the wrong idea and next thing you know it’s The Terminator, or worse, Chappie.

See also: China to Use Olympics to Test Digital Yuan

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